You can now buy a scale that connects directly to your twitter feed. As if these guilt generating torture devices weren’t efficient enough at stripping us of every ounce of self-esteem, you can finish the job by publishing your humiliation to every Tom, Dick, and Sally that ever breathed in the same high school hall or dorm room or office or PTA meeting or planet as you. Puhlease. I will not be tweeting my weight to the world. You see, I am not a gym rat; I'm a fat marathoner.
This brave new world of health monitoring devices (the moniker that replaces the dreaded “scale” in their marketing material) has me a little on the defensive. It doesn’t take much to put a big girl on the defensive in this world. Male actors are permitted character and age in their appearance, but their female counterparts must maintain near perfect youth and flawless femininity, but a strangely skeletal version of both. Waists are narrow, stomachs concave, legs and arms stick-thin or muscularly stringy. I miss the age of renaissance roundness. Pair this painful media-portrayed perfection with a toxic food environment: cheap, engineered-to-addict food-like substances. This is my world; I’m a little ticked off.
And now there are cyber-connected scales.
To be fair, there are a few features of this new type of device that really appeal to me. They can measure more than your basic poundage. Instead of one miserable number, these scales of the future can measure fat content, bone mass, even water weight. Now I’ll be able to know just how many extra pounds I can blame on my period. Mere weight is so passe. I suppose that means these new health monitoring whatchahoochies might actually be a step in the right direction. Except for that whole twitter thing.
After all, the last thing we need to do to each other is compare ourselves. You to me, me to you, to skinny sister, to post-baby friend, to supermodel covergirl actress. My weight is my business, and your weight is your business. If you need to get your doctor in on the conversation, by all means. But let’s not trap ourselves in the lose-lose game of measuring ourselves against anyone except the self we hope to be someday but choose to love now, extra 20 pounds and all.
I believe weight matters, obesity is physically, emotionally, and socially limiting, and health deserves to be a top-five priority in each and every American life. I want to reclaim exercise for all of us, or at the very least for myself...even though I tip the scales toward obesity not malnourishment, even though I look like a Biggest Loser contestant half way through the season, even though my baby weight has taken up permanent residence on my hips and thighs. I proudly announce that I will never wear a bikini. With confidence I declare that I can still turn on my husband when I stand in front of him naked. Yes, I looked better fifteen years ago because I weighed fifteen pounds less. Still, I am strong, attractive, and over 150 lbs.
But you’ll never read about it on my twitter feed.